In contrast to the stereotype that general education courses are easy credits, this year, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) established the NYCU Liberal Arts College and launched the brand-new NYCU Liberal Arts Education program. Mountain-climbing, agronomic activities, lecture series, and dormitory life were all included. As the semester started, NYCU immediately invited the famous author Che-Ching Hsieh and other well-known YouTubers as speakers; even the Minister of State Audrey Tang will be invited later this year to give a talk as well.
The NYCU Liberal Arts College is part of the “Tree of Hundred Harvests Project” launched by the President Chi-Hung Lin after he was inaugurated. Under the framework of the NYCU Liberal Arts College, the four-in-one liberal arts education was planned. In addition to the existing professional and internship education of each department and institution, new general and community education was integrated. Learning is no longer limited to being in the classroom. Everywhere on campus is a learning site.
Kuu-Young Young, the Dean of the NYCU Liberal Arts College, who is responsible for constructing the liberal arts courses, is also the chairperson of the NYCU General Education Committee. He stated that freshmen of this academic year will be applicable to the brand-new liberal arts education. They must complete 18 credits of core courses and 6 credits of language courses under general education.
The Chiao Tung Campus reformed the traditional dormitory into “residential college” and implemented the residential learning mentor family, turning on-campus housing into part of the community education. Students may attend salons and themed family activities, and the dormitory is no longer just a place for living. In addition to general courses in the classroom, the Yang Ming Campus launched a landscape exploring course involving climbing the Qiyanshan and the Qilianshan. In the future, courses such as agronomic activities, computer games production, and self-designed gender equality dormitory will be planned, and they are likely to be credit-bearing.
Young stated that in addition to training for the hard core professional knowledge, the soft skills are expected to be acquired through general and community education in university as well. Therefore, the design focus of the liberal arts education was to leave the classroom, aiming to cultivate students’ skills of cross-disciplinary learning, interpersonal communication, diverse learning, and life competencies.
The general education course “Explore the World: Global Perspective Trainings for NYCU Students” with the famous author Che-Ching Hsieh as the first lecturer is the most popular course of this wave of liberal arts education courses. This course involves a series of lectures. In Hsieh’s lecture, he shared with the students his experience of exploring the world. He integrated history, arts, and life, showing the students different and exotic humanistic scenes and broadening their horizon. He encouraged the students to think about the skill sets they were left with to face the world when cellphones and computers were taken away. He raised the rebuild of the World Trade Center in New York, and architectures that architects integrated local traditions and landscape design such as the Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité in Paris as examples to encourage students to start with human needs and to link their profession with experience. This will become their core competency to make contributions to the world.
Kuan-Neng Chen, the Vice President of International Affairs of the Chiaotung Campus, stated that it was the second year he offered this course. In line with the idea of glocalization, he aimed to bring the perspectives of travelers through lectures to expand students’ vision. In addition, through the examples of the internationalization of the local and through discussions on the social problems caused by internationalization, students will deepen their understanding of their home, Taiwan, and its relationship with the world.
Chinese version: https://www.nycu.edu.tw/news/2614/